Benefits of Linen - An Ethical & Sustainable Alternative

Linen books plant sustainable fabric

Staying fashionable comes at a cost, but the cost should not be the environment. The fashion industry is a huge polluting industry on the environment and it is rumored to be the 2nd most polluting industry, however this reporter dug into that rumor and revealed there’s not a lot of facts to back up that statistic so readily thrown around. Whether it is the 2nd most polluting industry or the 20th, we still know there are changes that can and should be made to reduce the harmful impact on the environment. 

One of the polluting factors is how much water is used in growing plants like cotton to make apparel. According to World Wide Life (WWF), it takes 2,700 gallons of water to produce enough cotton for one single T-shirt. One the other hand, Flaxseed - which is used to make linen - only needs about 600mm of water for the entire growing cycle. 

linen fabric plant shadow

As much as we here at Huaywasi love linen for sustainability purposes, that’s not the only reason it should be loved - and it definitely should be loved more! There are so many cool features in linen that will make you almost too excited about a fabric, if that’s even possible. The material is naturally moisture wicking and conducts heat away from the body, so it is the perfect fabric to wear in the summer to keep you looking and feeling ~cool~. 

When we think of organic and natural materials, people tend to think that they will be itchy and uncomfortable - but we are here to tell you otherwise! Linen actually becomes more comfortable the more you wash/wear it and it isn’t too complicated to take care of. It can be washed in the washing machine on cold (it can tend to shrink in warmer water) and put in the dryer on low heat - but you may want to take it out a little early and let it air dry the rest of the way so it doesn’t become too stiff. 

Linen clothing hanging sustainable

Linen is such an interesting fabric that it makes you think, ok what’s the catch? There’s got to be something wrong with it, everything has flaws. However, the list of flaws is surprisingly really short, especially when compared to the long list of strengths.

The only downside of linen we could find is that it does wrinkle rather easily, but you can either embrace the wrinkles in a casual look, or iron it on medium-hot steam settings (make sure the fabric is damp however!).  

Linen also has natural antibacterial properties, which is why it was used for bandages for centuries; this doesn’t super affect wearing it as regular clothing, but it does make you feel more clean.

Linen fabric shadow plant sustainable

Linen has already won the sustainable debate with cotton, but to really hit it home, linen is also 2-3 times stronger than cotton and dries much faster. Flaxseed also has the shortest growing period of 100 days between sowing and harvesting, so it is made quickly and needs minimal water.  Depending on the climate of the growing area, the rain/dew will take care of that and you wouldn’t need to water it with anything else! For this reason, and many others, linen is said to be the most eco-friendly natural fiber

As an ethically conscious company, we are always striving to become more environmentally sustainable and the first step we are taking is using more linen in our fashion lines. A few of our current linen favorites include the Abi Bell Pants, Vanessa Tank, and the Lily Jumpsuit.

The Abi Bell Pants are made out of 100% linen and have Tela Andina detailing that radiate Peruvian vibes. These breathable baggy pants can be dressed up or down to make them the perfect for many summer occasions!

Vanessa Tank handmade by Elena

Our Vanessa Tank is a gorgeous linen-polyester blend with crossed Tela Andina “cintas” that accentuate your back. This tank can be tucked in for a perfect summer work top, or left out to flow in the breeze for a beach day!

Lastly, the Lily Jumpsuit is an elegant outfit fit for a summer night out! With upcycled Tela Andina straps, each jumpsuit is 100% unique and just for you!

Each of these pieces are made with either 100% linen or a linen/polyester blend and give off Peruvian vibes with unique Tela Andina detailing. Aside from looking cute, each of these pieces are also super comfortable and can be dressed up or down for nearly any occasion!

Linen is really the superior natural fiber and is definitely under appreciated. Using more linen is just the beginning of Huaywasi’s journey towards sustainability. We are so excited to see where this journey takes us and hope you all follow along to see the great things Huaywasi does in the future!


Written by:  Nicolette Gaboriault-Whitcomb

Huaywasi Sustainable Sourcing & Research Intern

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